A Story to Tell
[ FUJIFILM/YOUNG TALENT AWARD 2019 FINALIST ]
“You don’t really fit in… You don’t fit into the group of normal people, because you’re anorexic. And you don’t fit with those affected by anorexia, because you’re a man.“ – Thomas, 21. Our process always starts with a conversation. What does it look like, your mental cage? What do you feel, see, think, hear, taste and smell? And where shall we go to take that picture of it? A Story to Tell resulted from many encounters with ten men affected by anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. Being well-aqcuainted with the topic myself, I was wondering: how is it to be affected as a male? The protagonists of this project, many of them trans*, gay, bisexual or otherwise associated with a genderdiverse community want to show: everyone can be affected.
Very often, it was shocking to listen. They told us about the shame, invisibility and unrecognition that they experience, not rarely resulting in serious self–harm and even suicide attempts. Their stories were more extreme, more violent and more painful than I would normally hear it from women. Yet, together with journalist Ruben de Theije, we kept drilling towards the true conflicts in the intersection of social expectations and big emotions; conflicts that lie at the heart of the stories they wanted to tell.
Mafalda Rakoš (*1994, AT) is a visual artist based between Austria and the Netherlands. Educated at the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in The Hague and Academy of Fina Arts in Vienna, she also holds a BA in Anthropology from Vienna University. Her projects often move along the intersection of art, documentary and journalism and attempt to dive deep into protagonist’s stories around safety, pain and trauma. Since 2013, she has been researching eating disorders through a collaborative and research-based practise rooted in documentary photography and cultural anthropology. The main platform of her work are books which gained attention in contests such as Kassel Dummy Award and the European Publishers Award for Photography; furthermore, it is regularly shown in international exhibitions and other contexts such as congresses for eating disorders (2016), or a hospital (2017). It was recognized by Awards such as c/o Berlin New Documentary Talent, the Steenbergen Stipendium and the Documentary Project Fund Emerging Vision Award.
The Fujifilm/Young Talent Award is supported by Fujifilm